Archive for category whitehall township

Lehigh Valley park turned into battlefield for Civil War reenactment (PHOTOS)

Friends of Camp Geiger hosted their 9th Lehigh Valley Civil War Days in Whitehall Township.

The usually serene Whitehall Parkway Recreation Area was anything but this weekend.&n…

Allentown man gets 19 years in kidnapping, $3M jewelry store robbery

Timothy Forbes was also involved in a December 2012 robbery of Bixler’s Jewelers in Whitehall Township, prosecutors said.

An Allentown man serving 14 years for a jewelry store robbery in York County, is now facing 19 more years for a more sinister version of the crime in Connecticut.

Timothy Forbes was one of five men, four from the Lehigh Valley, charged in the April 2013 robbery of Lenox Jewelers in Fairfield, Connecticut.

The four co-defendants in the Connecticut case were previously sentenced as follows:

  • Kasam Hennix, of Easton, was sentenced to 14 years and three months.
  • William Davis, of Allentown, was sentenced to 14 years and eight months.
  • Jeffrey Houston, of Allentown, was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years.
  • Christopher Gay, of the Bronx, New York, was sentenced to eight-and-a-half years.

The five men were ordered to pay more than $3.1 million in restitution, and have forfeited gemstones, jewelry, watches, a vehicle, and more than $127,000 in cash seized from them at the time of their arrests, prosecutors said in a news release.

Investigators said Forbes, Houston and Gay traveled from Pennsylvania to Connecticut several times prior to the robbery, in order to track the victims as they traveled from work to their home. Forbes and Gay placed a GPS unit on one ofg the victim’s vehicles to make it easier to track him, prosecutors said.

The 35-year-old Forbes pleaded guilty in January to kidnapping, interference with commerce by robbery and use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. He was sentenced on Friday to 19 years in prison, followed by five years of probation.

Forbes was involved in three other similar jewelry store robberies, prosecutors said, including the December 2012 robbery of Bixler’s Jewelers in Whitehall Township.

Prosecutors link Connecticut jewelry heist to 2012 Bixler’s robbery

According to sentencing documents for Gay, he along with Forbes, Houston and Hennix were responsible for the Dec. 28, 2012, kidnapping of a Bixler’s Jewelers gemologist at his West Bethlehem home.

Houston and Hennix allegedly held the employee and his wife at gunpoint, bound them with duct tape and placed pillowcases over their heads.

Forbes called Houston and Hennix once Bixler’s closed, and the pair took the gemologist to the store in a stolen car, forcing him to unlock the door, disarm the alarm and open the safes while Gay kept watch over the wife, prosecutors say.

Houston and Hennis stole about 46 Rolex watches, loose diamonds and gold valued at about $500,000 wholesale in total, according to the court records.

Six months earlier, prosecutors said Forbes along with Jamell Smallwood and Jesse Brewer robbed a York County store of more than 50 Rolex watches valued at more than $500,000.

In July 2012, Smallwood, of Allentown, and Brewer entered White Jewelers and Brewer shot the owner three times, permanently disabling him, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

As Smallwood came out the back of the store, he was shot in the abdomen by Brewer, apparently with a pistol belonging to the owner, authorities said.

Forbes proceeded to break the jewelry cases and stash in a duffle bag 53 watches worth $380,149. Forbes was sentenced to 14 years in prison for his role in the White Jewelers robbery.

Brewer was convicted at trial in September 2015 of robbery and firearms offenses. He was sentenced Feb. 24 to life imprisonment plus 20 years. Smallwood pleaded guilty previously and was sentenced to 17 years for his role in this robbery.

Sarah Cassi may be reached at scassi@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow her on Twitter @SarahCassi. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.

 

Lehigh County couple’s death ruled murder-suicide

The coroner said Kelsy Thomson was shot to death and her husband killed himself.

The deaths of a Whitehall Township couple were ruled a murder-suicide by the Lehigh County c…

District court cases still on, office open after judge’s death

Senior judges will preside over court hearings in late District Judge Robert Halal’s court.

The offices of late Lehigh County District Judge Robert Halal are open and cases will go on as scheduled, county officials said.

The 52-year-old Halal was found dead Monday in his Whitehall Township home on Monday, and the coroner ruled the death a suicide.

In a news release, county officials said some hearings this week needed to be rescheduled, but that Halal’s office remains open. Residents can file new cases and defendants should continue making payments on fines and costs.

MORE: Lehigh County district judge’s death ruled a suicide

Senior magisterial district judges will be assigned on a rotating schedule to preside over hearings, according to the release. Starting Monday, senior magisterial District Judge Patricia Warmkessel will preside over the court.

Halal was district judge for Whitehall and Coplay since 2007, and was re-elected to a six-year term in 2013.

The office will remain vacant, unless a replacement is appointed by the governor. If no replacement is appointed, the seat will be filled in the 2019 election.

Sarah Cassi may be reached at scassi@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow her on Twitter @SarahCassi. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.

 

2nd MacArthur Road robbery in a week may be related to 1st (PHOTOS)

Days apart, the robberies were perpetrated by a male gunman, according to Whitehall Township police.

Whitehall Township police responded Friday for the second time this wee…

Heroin stamped with ‘white power’ found on couple, cops say

The man reportedly admitted to selling meth and that he currently had multiple customers.

A couple under investigation for dealing drugs was found with heroin stamped with “whit…

Robber hits Dunkin’ Donuts in Whitehall Township

The robber entered the business about 9 a.m. Wednesday, police said.

Whitehall Township police are looking for a man who robbed a Dunkin’ Donuts Wednesday morning.
Police sa…

Meth found on driver who flashed gun in road rage, cops say

The victim told police Timothy Chuss cut him off numerous times on MacArthur Road, then pointed a gun at him.

A driver accused of pointing a gun at a man on MacArthur Road during…

Route 22 traffic shifts as $65M Fullerton Ave. project continues

Two off-ramps will open, an on-ramp will close and a bridge will be demolished.

Two Route 22 off-ramps will soon open, an on-ramp will close and a bridge will be demolished …

SWAT team nabs fugitive in 4-hour police call

It was the Lehigh County Municipal Emergency Response Team’s second call this month in Whitehall Township.

The Lehigh County Municipal Emergency Response Team took a fugitive into custody Thursday afternoon, four hours after police were initially called, according to a news release.

Whitehall Township police said they responded about noon for the report of a wanted mane in the 2000 block of North Lehigh Avenue.

Police confirmed Angel Leon Jr. was inside the home and was wanted on multiple warrants out of Berks County, the release states.

With assistance from the MERT, Leon was taken into custody at 4 p.m., township police said.

He was taken to Lehigh County Central Booking for arraignment.

Court records list an Angel Luis Leon Jr., 23, of Reading, as wanted on a bench warrant issued Dec. 1 following his conviction in a September 2013 robbery in the Berks County city. Drunken driving and related charges are also pending against Leon for an incident last Oct. 12 in Muhlenberg Township, Berks County.

This was at least the MERT’s second call in Whitehall Township this month.

The team on April 1 took Zachary Weller into custody following an hours-long standoff in the 1200 block of Broad Street.

Felony charges dropped in Whitehall standoff

No one was reported physically injured in either response.

Kurt Bresswein may be reached at kbresswein@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow him on Twitter @KurtBresswein. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.